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454 Posts $7.3M in Q4 Revenues; Plans to Release New Sequencing Application Later This Year

NEW YORK, Feb. 2 (GenomeWeb News) - 454 Life Sciences, a majority-owned subsidiary of Curagen, generated $7.3 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2005, nearly 70 percent of its parent company's total consolidated revenues for the quarter, the company said today.


The company also said it plans to release an ultra deep sequencing application later this year.


454's fourth quarter revenues came from sales of instrument systems and proprietary reagents, fees for service sales and royalties, as well as $900,000 in grant revenue, CuraGen said in a release. 454 generated $597,000 in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2004.


Licensing of 454's Genome Sequencer 20 system, which is distributed by Roche Applied Sciences, more than doubled in the fourth quarter as compared to the first nine months of 2005, resulting in a year-end total of 20 sequencers being used worldwide, said the company.


CuraGen forecast that 454 will generate between $30 million and $35 million in revenues in 2006.


The company expects development expenses in 2006 ranging from $65 million to $70 million and administrative expenses of about $23 million, "related primarily to the support of 454 Life Sciences' continued growth."


Among those developments, the company announced plans to release an ultra deep sequencing application in mid-2006. The technology "takes advantage of Genome Sequencer 20's capability to analyze greater than 200,000 unique DNA molecules in a single instrument ... to analyze genetic variation within viral samples, including HIV ... or tumors," the company said.


At the same time 454 will release enhanced features for whole-genome sequencing applications, including support for paired reads and software for the mapping and de novo assembly of genomes as large as 1 billion bases.


The company expects to incur $7 million to $15 million in expenses during 2006 to support continued investment in next-generation sequencing technologies. 454 currently has sufficient cash and investments to support that spending, a company spokesperson told GenomeWeb News.

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